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BBS: The Documentary Archive

Jason Scott (TEXTFILES.COM)

The BBS Documentary Video Collection is a varied set of video items collected by Jason Scott, curator of TEXTFILES.COM. These are recordings about and from the era of the domination of ASCII and Dial-up Bulletin Board Systems (roughly the 1970s through the 1990s, with examples far before and after that).

Over 250 hours of interviews were conducted for a project called "BBS: The Documentary" (website at bbsdocumentary.com). The questions centered around the history of Dial-up BBSes but sometimes drifted into related topics. Most of the full interviews will be made available on this site over the course of a year.

In each case, an audio file of the interviews will also be made available along with the videotaped material, as well as photographs taken during the interview. All material will be released Creative Commons Attribute-Sharealike and you are encouraged to download, re-edit, share, and otherwise use this material as the foundation for further research.

Click to view the Archive's related Textfiles audio collection.


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BBS: The Documentary Archive
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Interview of Ken Kaplan, Ben Baker, and Ryugen Fisher (That Old Frog)in St. Louis Missouri, January of 2004. Hour 1 (of 3). Discussion of Fidonet politics, internal issues, triumphs of engineering, influence of Fidonet. Covers some parts of the ARC-ZIP battle, as well as why the various interviewees ultimately left the project. Shot in the same living room in which Fidonet's main implementation was created, at Ken Kaplan's house. The interview began with just Ken Kaplan and Ben Baker, and...
Topics: bbs, bbsdocumentary, interview, ryugen, fisher, ben, baker, ken, kaplan, fidonet
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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Interview of Ken Kaplan, Ben Baker, and Ryugen Fisher (That Old Frog)in St. Louis Missouri, January of 2004. Hour 2. Discussion of Fidonet politics, internal issues, triumphs of engineering, influence of Fidonet. Covers calling old ladies by mistake, IFNA, Fidonet Cons, the troubles involved with running it. Shot in the same living room in which Fidonet's main implementation was created, at Ken Kaplan's house. It was during this portion of the interview that Ryugen Fisher (That Old Frog)...
Topics: bbs, bbsdocumentary, interview, ryugen, fisher, ben, baker, ken, kaplan, fidonet
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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Interview of Ken Kaplan, Ben Baker, and Ryugen Fisher (That Old Frog)in St. Louis Missouri, January of 2004. Hour 3. Discussion of Fidonet politics, internal issues, triumphs of engineering, influence of Fidonet. Covers some parts of the ARC-ZIP battle, as well as why the various interviewees ultimately left the project. Shot in the same living room in which Fidonet's main implementation was created, at Ken Kaplan's house. Slight video stream corruption (2-3 frames) at the beginning of the...
Topics: bbs, bbsdocumentary, interview, ryugen, fisher, ben, baker, ken, kaplan, fidonet
BBS: The Documentary Archive
by Jason Scott Sadofsky
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Deth Veggie has been a close friend for over a decade, and his position in the Cult of the Dead Cow came around in the early years of knowing him. Founded in 1985, the group went from textfile-writing to world-wide media mavens to security pundits. Along the way, they found themselves in a great and unique position as "hacker celebrities". As the image grew somewhere out of control, I knew many of the members as friends, and saw both sides of the story. This interview has a unique...
BBS Documentary Interview: Midwest Pirates' Guild, Greg Schaefer
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Jack Rickard
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BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Thom and Irene Henderson
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Leif Bloomquist
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Mark Grennan and Dave Drexler
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Dr. Ripco
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: John (Alexis) Riley
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Greg Ryan
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Randy Suess
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: Maury Markowitz
BBS: The Documentary Archive
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BBS Documentary Interview: B.W. Behling